Riya Tayal | 11 May 2022

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

An occupancy certificate is an integral document that plays a great role in the home buying process. It basically refers to a document stating that a real estate building adheres to the national building codes. It moreover implies that the building is suitable for occupancy. The Occupancy certificate in India is issued by a local government agency or development authority, like a municipal corporation. For home buyers, it is imperative to make sure that the Occupancy certificate, along with other important clearances and documents, are perfect in place. Also, it's important to note that civic authorities have the complete authority to evict occupants if any mandatory approval or document is not available. 

This is just an answer to "What does an Occupancy certificate mean"? Now, let's move forward as it's important to become familiar with its other aspects, including importance, documents required, the time taken for approval, etc.

How Important is an Occupancy Certificate?

An occupancy certificate holds a significant place in the real estate market. It is a document issued by a planning authority or local government agency after the completion of the construction of a new real estate project. The Occupancy certificate in India is proof that the project has been duly built by adhering to the applicable building codes and related rules and regulations. 

Every real estate developer in India is responsible for obtaining an occupancy certificate once the project has been finished. This means that the certificate is an indication that the property is suitable for occupancy. The same is required when applying for sanitation, water and electricity connection. 

When it comes to homeowners, an Occupancy certificate is important to cement the legality of the real estate they own. In the non-availability of a valid OC for a property, the local municipal body has the right to take legal action. The reason behind this is that without an OC, the real estate building is deemed to be an unauthorised structure. You, as a homebuyer, will require this certificate when you apply for a home loan or when you are buying a resale property. You will also need a valid OC when you are willing to sell your property. 

For better understanding, we have stated the importance of the Occupancy certificate in India in the form of pointers below. Have a look:

  • Without this certificate, it will not be possible for homeowners to secure the legal status of their real estate.

  • This certificate helps people to get a certified copy of the deed.

  • An OC is needed when applying for water supply, electricity connection and sanitation.

  • It is mandatory for people to submit the OC when availing of a mortgage loan. 

Also, it's important to remember that property tax is only applicable after the builder or owner of the real estate acquires an Occupancy certificate. And for that, you must submit certain documents stated in the next section of this article.

List of Documents Needed for Occupancy Certificate

In order to acquire OC, you need to submit the below-mentioned documents:

1. Project Completion Certificate

2. Project Commencement Certificate

3. Building and Sanction Plan

4. NOC for pollution and fire

5. Tax assessment along with the latest property tax receipt

6. Photographs of solar panels and rain harvesting system

7. Copy of the sanctioned plan of building

8. Photographs of the real estate after completion of construction

9. Are the calculation sheet of the floor signed by an authorised architect

Time Taken for Occupancy Certificate Approval

Generally, it is the responsibility of the real estate developer to apply for an Occupancy Certificate within 30 days from the date of project completion. Nonetheless, the property owners can also apply for this certificate from the development authority or local government agency. In case the real estate project fulfils the eligibility criteria and there are no problems concerning the submitted documents, you can obtain an OC within 30 days from the date of application. 

Suppose, in any situation; the builder fails to provide an OC. In that case, homebuyers have exclusive rights to initiate legal action against the builder and file a complaint in the consumer forum. They can then get a notice issued against the property builders, which would ask them to provide the OC within 1 month. 

As a buyer, you must be doubly sure whether the OC handed over to you is original or not. Note that a copy or fake Occupancy Certificate in India is not accepted when applying for a mortgage loan or while selling the property. 

How to Check Occupancy Certificates Online?

If the real estate project is RERA registered and you need to check OC online, you can simply view its status on the web portal of the state's RERA. As per the Act's provisions, the builders must update all the new developments related to the project on the web portal.

And, in case the status of the OC is not updated on the portal, you can confirm the same from local authorities. 

Buying a new house involves spending many years of hard-earned money. And if the real estate is declared unauthorised after you take possession, it can be a nightmare. So, you must make sure that you possess a valid OC and all other essential documents to safeguard your rights of ownership. You can also get in touch with us to buy the property of your dreams at the best price. We assure you that you will have a flawless home buying experience with us!

Also read: Online Property Registration Details and Documents Required

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